In response to the new guidelines which came into force on 29 September, the Water Alliance has decided to postpone the finale of the ‘WIS Award’ innovation prize that was due to be held in Leeuwarden on 9 October. “We had planned a hybrid event, at which participants, jury and trade journalists could be present in person while others at home and abroad could follow the finale online at the same time,” says spokesperson Agnes Dirksen from the Water Alliance. “Because of the new guidelines, which we totally understand, this is no longer responsible. In the coming weeks, we will consider other options.”
The WIS Award is the innovation prize that the Water Alliance (usually) presents annually. Dutch water technology companies with a special innovation present their product to a wide audience and a jury. The winner receives market support worth 10,000 euros and a lot of free publicity. Previous winners, including the Leeuwarden-based company Hydraloop, have subsequently had success on the international market.
The 2020 finale would have been held on 9 October 2020 in Studio Z in Leeuwarden, where there is a TV studio and a Grand Café. Water Alliance is now exploring various options with the management. Dirksen: “We could move the event to another date. If this is possible relatively soon, that would be good news because it would show that the Netherlands is winning the battle over coronavirus. However, if it looks as if the measures will be in place for a long time, we might consider organising the finale completely online. Anyway, our seven finalists are ready to present their innovation to the world and we want to offer them that platform.”
Every other year, Water Alliance challenges innovative entrepreneurs within the water technology sector, to present their most innovative product for the prestigious Water Alliance Innovation Stimulation Award. Not only are participants in the spotlight for several weeks, they also have the chance to win the grand prize: a marketing support package worth 10,000 euros to help kickstart new growth.
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